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United Kingdom > East Anglia > Crime, fraud and licensing > Crime: general > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



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  1. Crime: general
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Specialist criminal defence firm Belmores is considered ‘the best in Norfolk’, and has also developed a national reputation. ‘Outstanding forensic advocate’ Simon Nicholls succeeded in securing acquittals for his clients in a case concerning allegations of a family sex ring involving children.

Standout figures at Birketts LLP include barristers Laura Thomas and Matthew Gowen, and ‘professional and supportive’ associate Julie Gowland; all are ‘fantastic, always available and experts in their field’. ‘Clear and thorough’ solicitor Joanna Kasprzyk is also recommended. Thomas and Gowen secured the acquittal of a man accused of historic sexual abuse.

Fosters has the largest criminal defence team in Suffolk and Norfolk. Chris Brown represented a Norfolk landowner accused of conspiracy to supply drugs. Debbie Reynolds acted for a business director charged with child sex offences. Higher court advocate Damien Moore represented a former member of the judiciary accused of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

Gotelee Solicitors is noted for its ‘outstanding support and great empathy’. ‘Good communicator’ Hugh Rowland is ‘very experienced and imparts complex information succinctly’. He defended allegations of unfair commercial practices, possession of indecent images of children, and GBH. Howard Catherall is also recommended.

Hegarty LLP is ‘an extremely conscientious firm that goes above and beyond for its clients’. The ‘shrewd and deeply committed’ Sarah Acres (who is ‘one of the best solicitors in the local area’) secured an acquittal for a juvenile accused of sexual assault. Traffic and prison law expert Julie Murtagh is ‘approachable and knowledgeable – especially good with youths and vulnerable clients’.

Hunt & Coombs LLP is ‘a very good regional firm’. Team head Simon Milburn is ‘hugely experienced and dedicated to getting the best deal for clients’, and Andrew Cave is singled out for his ‘strength and dedication to clients’. Mental health law expert Richard Boucher and in-house barrister Davide Corbino are also recommended.

Metcalfe, Copeman & Pettefar is ‘an obvious contender in general crime; its police station representation is excellent’. Higher court advocate Alison Muir (‘one of the hardest-working lawyers in the market’) defended a vulnerable youth on trial for rape. Other recommended individuals include the ‘highly experienced’ Martin Newton and Tim Bartlam, who has over 40 years’ experience and whose ‘enthusiasm remains undimmed’.

Kathryn Gilbertson’s business defence team at Greenwoods Solicitors LLPprovides accurate and appropriate advice’. Gilbertson prosecutes animal welfare matters for the RSPCA. Solicitor Charlotte Murray ‘ensures all matters are dealt with in a timely manner and has an in-depth knowledge of animal welfare law’.

Leathes Prior provides ‘accurate and thoughtful advice’. Tim Cary (who ‘achieves the best possible outcomes’) and Tej Thakkar (who attracts praise for his ‘understanding and authority’) defended a man accused of intent to commit sexual assault, and acted for a client accused of drugs and firearms offences.

Nick Barnes at Thomson Webb & Corfield LLP excels in complex private criminal cases, especially when they involve serious injury or children’s care proceedings. Barnes is currently handling five non-accidental injury matters with parallel criminal proceedings.

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